Jeonbuk defeats Ulsan in front of a packed house… Jeonbuk players say they are ‘rebounding’

Jeonbuk Hyundai’s 2-0 home win over Ulsan Hyundai in the K League 1 on March 3 was significant for a number of reasons.

There’s no doubt that the two teams are rivals, with Hyundai being one of the most prestigious names in the K League and having been in a ‘two-horse race’ for years.

While it’s great to win a rivalry game, it’s even better for Jeonbuk’s players and fans to feel like it’s a sign of rebirth.

Jeonbuk boasts the most wins in the league (9), but after parting ways with head coach Kim Sang-sik, the team has struggled every round under Kim Doo-hyun.

They’ve dropped to 10th place, so every game is a slippery slope as the more defeats they pile up, the less likely they are to return to the top.

Although Jeonbuk has picked up two wins and two draws since last month’s 1-1 draw against Seoul, the team’s mood was sagging after losing to Pohang (0-1), and a loss against Ulsan would have left them stuck in the bottom half of the standings.

A goalless draw would have seen them slip back to 10th place, having climbed as high as seventh place (21-19 on goal difference), behind ninth-placed Suwon FC, who also beat Suwon Samseong (18-18 on goal difference).

There were other reasons for acting head coach Kim Doo-hyun to be happy after the game, saying, “It means more than three points for us.”

“It was a matter of pride, not only for the fans but also for the players. “It’s a tough situation in some ways because we’re nearly 20 points behind,” he said, “but I think it’s important to ride the wave from a rebounding position.

Kim emphasized that the defending champions, who have accumulated 38 points in their opening 16 games, have a double-digit lead over second-place Jeju United (28 points).

In addition to staving off the worst-case scenario of slipping further down the standings, the victory was described as “momentum” to move up the table.

In fact, the Jeonbuk game was the first time Ulsan was held scoreless this season. It was also the first time Ulsan lost by more than two goals.

The players also hailed the win as a confidence booster for the team.

Cho Kyu-sung, who opened the scoring for Ulsan in the 38th minute with a dynamic ‘diving header,’ said, “With Ulsan in first place, there was a big gap between us in the standings. But a lot of fans came, and Jeonbuk’s pride was on the line.”

Japanese player Jun Amano, who assisted Cho’s goal with a sharp left-footed cross in his return to action after a month away, also said, “This win is really big for us,” adding, “I’ll try harder to help the team rebound.”

Kim is looking to hand over the reins to a new coach while the team is still on a steep climb.

Jeonbuk has decided to hand over the reins to CFR Cluj (Romania) coach Dan Petrescu and is working on the final details.

“I don’t know, but I think (the new coach) will come during the A-match break in June,” said Kim, who added, “I hope we can take advantage of this atmosphere and continue our winning streak and improve until the new coach arrives.”

Even after the game ended, the sound of cheers and chants from the home fans, who were enjoying the afterglow of the victory, echoed around Jeonju World Cup Stadium for a while.먹튀검증

27,097 spectators visited Jeonju Castle, the first time more than 20,000 spectators entered the stadium in 1,556 days since March 1, 2019, against Daegu.

Prior to this match, Jeonju’s highest attendance this season was 19,660 against Samsung Electronics in Suwon on March 5, which was nearly 8,000 fewer than the Ulsan match.

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